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Westside Digest

Beverly Hills : Mass Transit Vote Vowed

April 15, 1993

At the urging of an overflow crowd, the City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to get voter approval before it commits the city to spending money or becoming a stop on any future Metro Rail route or monorail system.

The crowd gave vocal support to representatives of a new homeowners group, whose rallying cry has been over concerns about mass transit, use of the city's industrial area and public safety.

The Beverly Hills North Homeowners Assn., formed last month to represent the well-heeled north side of town, won its first concession from the council when the council agreed to put mass transit to a public vote.

Lawyer Eli Blumenfeld, representing the association, told the council that the issue for the group is not whether to have mass transit but the opportunity to vote on the matter.

Mass transit will "irrevocably affect the essence of Beverly Hills," he said.

Councilman Maxwell Salter said he supports a vote on the issue but said concern about mass transit is premature because discussion has not yet begun on route alignments and stops.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is overseeing the development of Metro Rail, is still exploring what route the Orange Line should take to link Downtown Los Angeles to Westwood. A route decision is not expected until late 1994; the line is not expected to operate through Beverly Hills until about 2008.

Meanwhile, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and several other local government agencies plan to use state and private money to study the feasibility of a monorail system that could be constructed in two to five years to serve Westwood, Century City, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, probably along Santa Monica Boulevard.

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